The Australian dollar moved higher against the US dollar to about the same extent as the pound. The two opened in London this Monday unchanged against each other from a week earlier. En route however, and almost unnoticed by investors, sterling touched an all-time low against the Aussie.
Holding back the Australian dollar were a handful of uninspiring economic data. Two leading indices, from the Conference Board and the Westpac Bank, pointed to a slowing Australian economy. Backing up that suggestion were the consumer price index figures, which showed 0% inflation in the fourth quarter of the year, while in 2011 as a whole CPI rose by 3.1% – appreciably less than the 3.5% by which prices went up in the year to September. If investors had any hope of higher interest rates before the announcement, the figure brought them back to earth.